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Sony II: Grouper Relaunch En Route; Sony-MySpace Minisode Network

During the FT interview, chairman and CEO Howard Stringer addressed Sony’s move to create its own short-form video content. Turns out Sony Pictures Television is on the verge of launching its MySpace broadband channel the Minisode Network — not with new content, but with old shows (Diff’rent Strokes, The Partridge Family, etc.) cut to 3-5 minutes. The site will be sponsored by national advertisers. (By one sponsor, says the NYT; see below.)
WSJ: It’s one of Sony’s efforts to avoid solely being a content provider to others and ultimately losing out. SPT president Steve Mosko: “Our content helped build a lot of cable channels. … We’re not going to let the same thing happen on the Web.” One plus to not having its own TV network, says Mosko: Sony doesn’t have to take a network or affiliates into consideration. But Sony also lacks the natural reach the broadcast nets can provide.

Sony isn’t betting it all online: Don’t look for Seinfeldonline — legally — any time soon. Sony is getting $3 billion for syndie rights through 2011 and wants those rights to stay valuable.

NYT: Honda will be the first and sole sponsor when the network launches next week. NYT says episodes of the 15 vitage series will run 4-6 minutes. Honda will run only 8 seconds of ads per episode, all before the show starts: a three-second billboard and a five-second ad for the Honda Fit minicar. The sponsorship is estimated in the six figures.

— Post MySpace exclusivity, Sony will expand the minisodes to other sites — and eventually on mobile devices. Honda gets right of first refusal on additional platforms.

Grouper: Stringer didn’t offer much detail on Grouper, the video sharing site Sony bought last August for $65, but WSJ reports that the site will relaunch next month with a new name, new look, themed channels with exclusive content; new features — the works, including a possible remix option. Sony says Grouper streams about 100 million videos a month.

One Response to “Sony II: Grouper Relaunch En Route; Sony-MySpace Minisode Network”

  1. Devin Smith

    Again, there is no way Grouper streams 100mm videos a month, even with the autostream on the homepage (users love that by the way mr. stringer).

    Simple math would indicate that Grouper can't be even close to the Viacom owned properties which do a few hundred million streams monthly.